...Christmas Shoppers!!...

ISSUE #482: Oct. 20-26, 2013


Brian Timmons, Newsletter Author
Brian Timmons

Dear friends,

When I started Residencias Los Jardines, I started writing a weekly news letter -determined to tell all the good, bad, and the ugly. I knew some readers would be interested in the construction process. I expected others might be interested in the lifestyle of two people who had decided to live outside the box. For others, the adventures of Lita, the parrot and the cat took on an entertainment saga all its own.

Residencias Los Jardines is finished. We periodically have resales and rental availability. Some readers may be interested in this information.

Brian Timmons
Residencias Los Jardines / https://www.residenciaslosjardines.com info@residenciaslosjardines.com


Featured house this week

Paradisus Condos / Rorhmoser

Paradisus Condos - click to visit

Paradisus will consist of 4 towers in Rorhmoser, a suburb to the west of central San Jose. Not far from the US Embassy and shopping malls, Rorhmoser is a residential area that was developed in the 60's and 70's and is currently seeing significant re-development with high end condos. It is the area where the new stadium and a number of luxury high rise condos have recently been built with more on the drawing boards. Phase one of this development is nearing completion; it consists of two towers and the amenities -pool, exercise room, etc. Tower one is expected to be completed in January and Tower 2 should follow in February / March. The location of this development is superb... it's off the main traffic paths and sits on a ravine overlooking a river. To the east is San Jose / Heredia; to the west is Pavas / Escazu. With floor to ceiling windows and a wrap around balcony, these units offer fantastic light and views.

Each of the units consists of two bedrooms / two bathrooms, and a large living/dining/kitchen area. The floor plan of each of these units has eliminated the optional "den / office" divider. The result is a larger area offering more flexible furniture arrangements while still maintaining the option of including an office area. At 105m2 plus two parking spots each and storage locker, they offer a great opportunity for someone seeking views, security, central location, and first class, all round living...

Read more about Paradisus Condos


Residencias Los Jardines
Property Management, Rentals, Re-Sales

Market Activity

Sales: one viewing.

Rentals: two viewings for Jan. 1 availability of 126



Unit #114: $235,000 / See Unit


Nothing Available until January 1

Site Plan



UNIT #114
FOR SALE $235,000

Total Area (Sq Ft): 1290
Total area (Sq M): 120
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 2
Floor(s): Single Floor
Type: Attached
Furnished: Yes

This 1,290 sf. (plus covered parking for one car and two lockers 67 sf.) single story, semi detached house, with garden terrace, two bedrooms is a beautiful executive style home. This home consists of two large bedrooms one with six piece en-suite bathroom with additional access to separate full shower. Each bedroom has large closets with extensive built-ins for personal organization. The vaulted living room and bathroom ceilings provide a feeling of grandeur while allowing the warmer air to rise and exit through the ceiling ventilating system. There are four TVs (one in each bedroom, one in the living room and one in breakfast / dinning room.) This is a beautiful well appointed home.


Our Lives

WEATHER: October weather continues to be normal... beautiful sunny mornings, with clouding around mid day, followed by a shower and then clearing. So far, we have not, in this area, had torrential rain storms...

All in a Week's Living in CR:

Christmas Shoppers: Christmas shopping seems to have started in earnest. A number of stores has Christmas decorations on display in August and more had them out in September. PriceMart, which is normally shopable on Mondays was devoid of parking spaces... chaos and bedlam reigned... and the highways and other roadways were clogged...



News Items of the Week


1. Wage Rate Increase: Minimum wage rate revisions happen twice a year: Jan 1 and July 1. Usually there is more fuss about it but they seems to have changed the process this time. This represents about a 7% increase year over year. While it applies to the private sector and to minimum wage rates, it gets translated into all wages eventually ...and remember, Costa Rica has one of the highest costs of production in Central America... and borrows over half the cost of operating the government. thus the discussion on new ways to increase taxes (discussed last week. A number of people in the investment club I attend --expats mainly--don't see how this is sustainable and are concerned with the government's recently avowed additional role for the central bank is to create employment growth. The concern here is that CR will inflate it's way out of its debt problem and taht the US:colon exchange rate will float from 495 to 680... which would be fine for those holding and earning dollars but not for the economy overall.

2. Food Prices: This is not a surprise but for those who don't know CR, it might be an interesting read to see the prices of footuffs here

3. Democracy and Lack of Involvement: An interesting read in which the concerns of the public are outlinend. It will be even more interesting to see how or if the political process addresses these concerns....the public debates are beginning / promises will be made / commitments will not be kept. what else is new??

4. Bridge Repairs: Appealing an award is the normal practice that results in substantial delays in awarding contracts. Whether the process is flawed or not, an appeal is normal... in this case the loosing bidder seems to have shaved his bid by proposing to put in substandard footings which would not meet the seismic standard requiared...


1. Hike in minimum wages set at 3.78 percent for Jan. 1
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Consejo de Salarios decided Wednesday afternoon that minimum salaries will be raised 3.78 percent as of Jan. 1.

This is the semi-annual setting of salaries based on inflation and other factors. The Consejo accepted the government's proposal that was advanced by Olman Segura Bonilla, the minister of Trabajo.

Representatives of unions wanted a bit more, and private employers wanted slightly less.

Nearly 1.3 million employees are in the private sector, and many work for the minimum wage.

The Consejo is using a new formula based on economic data so opinion does not intrude heavily into the wage setting.

A cashier now making 291,516.18 colons a month (about $583) minimum wage will see a bit more than 11,000 colons a month extra, some $22.

A university grad making 413,168.14 colons a month about ($825) will see a 15,617-colon raise, about $31.

2. Newest grocery shopping survey is food for thought
By A.M. Costa Rica staff

The economics ministry reported again Thursday on a survey of food stores that showed wide variations in prices.

But the ministry also reported that three entrepreneurs are developing an application called Ahorre Más, "Save more," that will give shoppers information on food prices in various supermarkets in real time. The application, a winner of a Gobierno Digital competition, still is in development. The application will do basically what the ministry surveyors did: Determine the prices in 42 chain and independent groceries.

The Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio had some additional goals with the survey that was conducted from Sept. 24 to Oct. 7. Officials wanted to see how well stores were complying with a new rule that said they had to report a unit price for each product. The ministry said that 95 percent of the stores were in compliance.

The survey itself compared individual prices but also figured what a family averaging 3.5 persons would pay purchasing the same monthly shopping of 53 items in different stores. The survey was geared to basic purchase of food and some personal care items, such as diapers. The checkout price ranged from 93,147 to 126,745 colons, about $186 to $253.50. The ministry computed the difference to be 33,598 colons or about $67.

Automercado at Plaza del Sol in Curridabat had the highest prices. The lowest was at Palí in El Roble, said the ministry. Second highest was Automercado in Tres Ríos followed by Muños and Nanne in San Pedro, Super Facil Express in San José and Mas x Meno in Santo Domingo de Heredia. The products checked were both pre-packed and fresh.

A month's groceries cost the lowest in the province of Puntarenas while San José had the highest prices.

As is usual in these surveys, researchers found wide variations among identical products and similar products. Some of the differences, such as 132 percent difference in a bottle of meat sauce, suggested that one product might have been marked incorrectly. For example, a pack of 2-percent milk cost 330 colons at one store and 610 colons at the store with the highest price. That is a difference of some 280 colons or 85 percent, said the ministry. But 550 colons to about 600 is the usual price for this product.

Still prices on the same and similar items ranged up to 500 percent. That difference was on a Gillette double-bladed men's razor and one made or imported by the Mexican firm called Dorusa de México S.A.. Smoked sausage differed by 211 percent between Zurquí brand at 710 colons in Super Moline in San Ramón and Zaragoza at a number of stores at 2,210 colons.

The survey also points out that a working class family will be paying about half of an average monthly salary for basic food products. The full survey can be found on the ministry Web site.

3. Costa Rica’s democracy threatened by lack of participation; concerns high over corruption and discrimination: report

October 25th, 2013 (AFP & InsideCostaRica.com) – Despite the high level of human development in Costa Rica, exclusion and discrimination are rampant in the country, where nearly half of people say they have felt discriminated against at some point, according to a report published by the United Nations yesterday.

The National Human Development Report 2013, entitled “Learning to live together: Coexistence and Human Development in Costa Rica,” said that Costa Rica is ranked 62 in terms of human development among 187 countries.

The country also has the highest life expectancy in Latin America and the Caribbean (79.4 years) and overall life satisfaction is high (7.3 on a scale of 0-10), very close to Denmark which is the number one in the world at 7.8.

However, the study stresses that the country has major challenges to overcome in areas such as various forms of discrimination, corruption, insecurity and unemployment.

The report details that 26% of Costa Ricans said they have felt discriminated against because of age, 16% by religion, 14% because of their gender, 7% for a disability, 6% by the color of their skin and 5% based on their ethnicity.

As for the perception of the country’s problems, citizens state that corruption is seen as their top concern (20%), followed by insecurity (18%) and unemployment (15%).

Moreover, despite being a mature democracy, the report called attention to the low participation of Costa Ricans in politics and various civil society bodies.

“Costa Rica is a kind of delegate democracy. A paradox. On the one hand, people do not want to participate, but on the other hand, they expect much of the state,” Gabriela Mata, one of the researchers of the report, said.

According to the study, only 13.9% of Costa Ricans are involved in community associations, 5.7% are involved in professional associations, and just 2.3% actively participate in a political party.

The report is based on 2012 figures compiled by the Latin American Public Opinion Project, which were interpreted and analyzed for the report along with other sources such as surveys and focus groups.

4. Dispute may put the brakes on repairs to the Circunvalación

October 25th, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com) Construction firm, Hernan Solis is looking to block the award of a contract to build two permanent bridges on the Circunvalación that was awarded to a competing firm by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MOPT), which announced the deal last week.

The firm has filed an appeal with MOPT, requesting that the award be rescinded.

Mario Loria, who is in charge of bridges at MOPT, said the award was granted to competing firm, Codocsa, because Hernan Solis’s bid contained technical problems related to seismic resistance.

Hernan Solis denies this claim, on which it is basing its appeal.

According to MOPT officials, the case will now go to independent legal review.

Permanent repairs to the Circunvalación, a major beltway around the capital city of San José where a group of Bailey bridges had to be removed last month as they were in danger of collapse, were to begin on November 18th and take six months.

Codocsa had submitted the most expensive bid, some ¢650 million more than Hernan Solis.


Brian, Lita, the Late Hugo IV, irreverent Vicka, the pigeon toed parrot, Chico II and Chica II

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